Soaked in revelry, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata and other big cities across India welcomed 2023 amid huge celebrations. This is the first time in nearly two years that Covid restrictions were eased for those ringing in the New Year. While the latest surge in Covid cases in China remains a concern, authorities in India are taking precautions but no major curbs have yet been announced. For now, RT-PCR tests have been made mandatory for travelers arriving from China, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Thailand.
Here’s a lowdown on New Year’s celebrations amid caution over Covid:
1) In Bengaluru, cops were seen resorting to use of force to manage crowds in a video posted by news agency ANI. Earlier this week, the authorities had said that restaurants, pubs, hotels and resorts would be allowed to host celebrations only till 1 am.
2) The Karnataka government on Sunday also made home quarantine mandatory for flyers coming in from high-risk nations. “International travellers from high-risk countries – China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand – need to be home quarantined for 7 days from the date of their arrival. Once tested positive, the infected people are to be treated and managed as per the State Covid protocol,” read a from Health Department meant for the international passengers, news agency PTI reported.
3) Delhi witnessed a huge gathering of crowds at the iconic India Gate. Security presence was heightened ahead of the celebrations. About 18,000 cops were deployed across the city, PTI reported.
4) Ahead of the New Year’s eve, massive preparations were carried out to manage crowds at the Kartavya Path, earlier known as Rajpath. Parking sites to accommodate over 1,000 cars and 40 buses were reported to be arranged by the civic administration.
5) Mumbai saw people unwinding at Marine Drive among other popular spots. Early morning visuals also showed morning prayers being held at the iconic Siddhivinayak Temple.
6) Streets in Uttarakhand’s Mussoorie and Mall Road in Manali also remained packed with events stretching late into the night.
7) Among other tourist destinations which saw huge footfalls was Goa as expected.
8) Kerala’s Kochi saw huge participation in the Cochin Carnival.
9) Ahead of the revelry, the central government had told the states to ensure crowd management and wearing of masks.
10) Indian authorities have raised their guards again as several parts of the world register an uptick in cases.